Bed bugs are exploding on the scene with a vengeance. Be aware of your luggage when you travel to motels and resorts on summer vacation. Children are also beginning to bring bed bugs home with them from summer camps. Watch out for Fire ants in your yard as your children play. They can cause a serious painful sting and some individuals can have an allergic reaction. Fire ants are very common in the SE now and really show their ugly heads during the summer. The rainy season in the south causes a number of different ants and roaches to move indoors.
Earth Easy Pest Control Ltd. started operation in 1982. We are active in commercial, residential, institutional and industrial pest management. We provide a full range of pest management services including insect and rodent management, maintenance programs for a wide range of industries, inspections, bird exclusion, seminars and consulting services.
We actively practice Integrated Pest Management techniques as recommended by the B.C. Ministry of Environment. This practice promotes using pesticides only when required and in conjunction with other non-chemical controls. Our technicians receive ongoing, monthly training in this regard.
We are monitored by the federal Deptartment of Agriculture, Pest Management Regulatory Agency, Provincial Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Agriculture, and the local municipal governments. We keep up to date with regulatory changes and industry best practices by being active members of the National Pest Management Association.
Effective pest management is a process, not a one-time event. Earth Easy’s proprietary approach is a collaborative, ongoing cycle of three critical activities that help control pests and keep pests in their place; out of your home.
Cookie-cutter pest management solutions are ineffective. Your Earth Easy technician continually works with you to treat the causes in ways that are best for your family, pets and the environment. We’ll create a customized pest control plan that effectively targets cockroaches, rodents, ants and other common household pests exactly where they appear in your home—inside and out, all year long.
The west Michigan area and greater Grand Rapids area have a variety of rodent species that will make themselves at home in your home or business. The three most common rodent pests include the house mouse (Mus musculus), black or roof rat (Rattus rattus), and the Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus). All three can potentially spread disease, transport parasites and start electrical fires by chewing on wires.
The House Mouse is the 2nd most successful mammal in the world and they are ubiquitous; they have colonized every continent in the world, including Antarctica. Mice are small rodents weighing 20 to 25g, and are usually 6 to 9cm in length. Mouse droppings are small, roughly the size of uncooked grains of rice. They also leave behind hundreds of micro-droplets of urine everyday along their travel paths. Common places to find signs of mice include kitchen cupboards, basements, garages and storage areas.
The Black or Roof Rat is the most common rat species in Metro Vancouver. Roof rats weigh up to 400 g and their body length is up to 21 cm, not including their tail. Their feces are about 1 cm long and have pointed ends. The roof rat is an excellent climber and is often found in attics but is also common in crawlspaces and exterior areas such as sheds and garages.
In Greater Victoria, the Norway rat is the most common. A Norway rat is the largest of the three common rodent pests, weighing about 600 g. Their droppings are about 2 cm in length (roughly the size of a jelly bean) with blunt ends. They prefer moist conditions and will often be found in crawlspaces and lower portions of buildings. They like to burrow and are often found nesting under low lying shrubs, sheds and other protected areas.
Signs of a rodent problem may include droppings, gnawed or chewed areas including food or packages or even walls, rub marks, or noises in attics.
Since rodents are most active at night, noises in your attic at night may indicate the presence of rodents. However, other animals including squirrels, raccoons, birds, opossums and pack rats, can reside in attics and make noises both at night and during the day. See our wildlife management page for more information. Call our office today to speak to one of our customer service representatives.
When your home or business has a rat problem, we will set up a trapping program that covers all affected areas. In some cases, exterior baiting* may be helpful to intercept transient rodents before they can access the structure. For long term protection for both roof rats and Norway rats, the exclusion of current and potential entry points is strongly recommended. An estimate for this will be provided with any of our trapping programs.
For mice inside a structure, a combination of baiting* (where applicable) and trapping throughout affected areas is used.
Exclusion for mice can be challenging, as mice only require a hole the size of a dime, but should always be considered.
*Please note that when any rodenticide is used, it is securely contained in tamper resistant stations.
Prevention is better than eradication. Some rodent proofing tips include:
Bed bugs resemble flattened apple seeds in their size, shape and color. They are about 1/4 to 5/8 of an inch long and are reddish-brown to brown in colour.
Bed bugs have specialized mouthparts for piercing and sucking. They grab skin with their forelegs, pierce the skin, and inject their saliva, which has anticoagulant and anesthetic properties. Because of this anesthetic property, most people do not feel the bite of a bed bug. A bed bug feeds about once a week, usually for 3 to 12 minutes and can survive for 6 to 12 months on a single feed.
The lifecycle of a bed bug is complete in 4 to 5 weeks under optimal conditions.
Most people don’t realize they have a bed bug infestation until they begin getting bites. People react differently to bed bug bites: some will develop itchy, red welts, while others show no reaction at all. How people react depends on their own sensitivity, much like allergies.
Look for brown or black fecal material near the hiding places as well as blood spots on sheets and bedding.
Once an infestation has been identified, contact us to discuss treatment options. In all cases, the proper preparation must be completed prior to any treatment.
The two most important species in Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley and Greater Victoria are Camponotus modoc and Camponotus vicinus. Both species can cause significant structural damage. C. modoc is a very large black ant, up to 17 mm in length. C. vicinus is also a large ant (up to 12 mm), with a black head and abdomen and a deep red thorax (middle section).
Carpenter ants in a nest.
Carpenter ants feeding on bait.
Contrary to popular opinion, carpenter ants do not eat wood. They excavate galleries in wood or other materials by chewing but they discard the debris (called frass) outside the nest. Frass may sometimes be found by homeowners under a hole or other opening but is often discarded inside wall voids. Carpenter ants feed on a variety of food containing either protein or carbohydrates. Some examples include honey, sugar, meat, grease, and dead insects. Of the entire colony, which may have thousands of individuals, only 5 to 10% will be out looking for food.
In spring or early summer, winged carpenter ants swarm, leaving the nest to establish new colonies. A swarm is the mating flight of the winged reproductive males and females. If winged ants are observed coming out of a particular area, it is likely the nest is close by. Since swarmers are generally not produced until a colony is at least 6 years old, observing a swarm may indicate a well-established nest.
Environmental modifications may help to prevent a carpenter ant infestation. Examples of modifications include repairs to leaking roofs or plumbing, removing any rotting wood, trimming all vegetation so it doesn't touch the house, ensuring adequate ventilation in crawl spaces and attics, and storing firewood off the ground, away from the house. Site-specific information can be discussed with one of our pest management professionals during an inspection.
The most commonly encountered are bald-faced hornets, yellowjackets, paper wasps and mud daubers. The bald-faced hornet, yellowjackets and paperwasps are social insects and build nests of a paper like material. Mud daubers are solitary and build nests of mud often plastered among rafters in attics or on the sides of buildings.
Bald-faced hornets (Dolichovespula maculata)are relatively large, black and usually have white markings on the front of their heads. This type of hornet tends to nest in trees but nests can also be attached to buildings. By the end of the summer their nests can be larger than a basketball.
Yellowjackets (Vespula spp.) are small, about 10 mm in length, bright yellow and black and appear hairless. Most will build nests underground but they will also nest in wall voids, attics or crawlspaces using an available hole or crack on the exterior. Yellowjackets are often considered the most dangerous of the bees and wasps as they are in frequent conflict with people, they contain hundreds of individuals, are very protective of their nests, and can be unpredictable in their response to people nearby.
Mud daubers (Sceliphron caementarium) are easily distinguished from other wasps and hornets as they have very long legs and a long thin "waist". While they have the ability to sting, they are not aggressive and generally only sting if handled
Paper wasps(Polistes metricus) are large (25mm), slender wasps with long legs and a distinct, slender waist. Most are brown or darker, with large patches of yellow or red. Their paper nests hang like an open umbrella from a stalk called a pedicel with the cells visible from below. They are usually in protected areas, such as under eaves, in attics, or under tree branches or vines.
With the exception of honeybees, the treatment for the different types of wasps is generally the same. In all cases, the nest must be located for proper treatment. A nest located in a wall or in the ground can usually be identified by observing wasps flying in and out of a hole or a crack. Never plug or seal up this hole before a treatment.
While many people enjoy watching and even feeding pigeons in the park, pigeons become unwanted guests when they chose your home or business as a place to nest or roost. Pigeons will nest in a large variety of places and do not require much space for their nest.
Pigeons and their feces are carriers of bacteria, viruses, and a variety of parasites which may present a health hazard. Pigeon feces can create unsafe work environments through the pathogens they carry, and their droppings create a slip and fall liability. Their feces may also contaminate buildings through air circulation and being tracked in on employees and customers feet. Pigeon droppings not only deface the look of your building but the uric acid in the droppings is highly corrosive and can eat through roofing membranes. It is estimated that pigeons are responsible for millions of dollars of damage each year. A variety of bird control products can be used to exclude pigeons.
HVAC units are a common place to find pigeons. This can create a hazard to both people servicing the units as well as people inside as the pathogens are carried in on the circulating air. Droppings on a walkway and stairwell create a slip and fall hazard. * HVAC unit photos reprinted with permission from Bird Barrier http://www.birdbarrier.com/*
Seagulls create similar problems on roofs and ledges as pigeons do but are obviously much larger and can be very aggressive towards people when they nest on roofs. Seagulls are federally protected so permits are required to remove any nest containing eggs or young. Generally, the use of ledge deterrents and netting are the main solutions.
Both house sparrows and starlings are small birds, generally considered nuisance birds. Sparrows are often problems in warehouses, manufacturing and food processing plants. As with pigeons, they carry pathogens which can pose a hazard to human health. Their nesting material has been attributed to both water damage and fire as their nests may block gutters and they sometimes nest in machinery housing. Both sparrows and starlings can get into small areas including attics, the sides of structures, and the insulation in building parkades. Netting is generally the only solution that provides long-term control.
We provide long-term site-specific solutions by installing top quality bird exclusion materials. We have certified Bird Barrier installers on staff.
Depending on the site, we may recommend one or more of the following exclusion methods and materials:
* Please note that all of the bird control products we install do not harm the birds you are excluding.
The cleanup and disinfection of any site is very important to ensure sanitary conditions and a proper and effective installation. Cleanup and disinfection is included in all bird control proposals.
No. But only when an infestation is discovered early, populations are low, preparation and cooperation by all affected residents is excellent, and clutter is either non-existent or minimal.
Yes. Solving most bed bug problems requires a lot of effort on the part of all affected residents and at least two treatments. All affected areas must be inspected, preparations must be fully completed, all areas must be de-cluttered, and the appropriate treatments applied. In multi-unit housing (apartments, condominiums, hotels or duplexes), units above, below and beside the affected units must be dealt with. Bed bug proof mattress and box spring encasements and ongoing monitoring are strongly recommended.
Bed bugs have been feeding on the blood from their human hosts for thousands of years. They do not jump or fly and they enter buildings on people or their belongings. The most common ways they are brought in is in luggage from a vacation, on used furniture or travel between units in multi-unit buildings. Bed bugs were a rare occurrence in the Western world for many years but are now back in force.
No. Bed bugs are excellent at hiding. They do not come out every night and are rarely seen during the day. You probably have not seen all of them. With bed bugs, success demands thoroughness.
Probably. Mice are gregarious, typically living in family groups of 7 to 20. Mice have small territories ranging up to a maximum of 30 feet in any direction from their nesting site. Each mouse produces, on average, 70 droppings and 3000 micro-droplets of urine every 24 hours. One or two traps from the hardware store is usually not enough to solve most mouse problems.
It depends. What time do you hear it?
Noise at Night - This usually means rats. Roof rats are the most common cause of night noises in your attic. If the noise is in your crawlspace or basement, it is likely a Norway rat. Very loud noises could mean a raccoon has moved in. Sometimes raccoons can go unnoticed if your attic is highly insulated. Rarely, a noise at night may indicate the presence of bats.
Noise during the Day - Both squirrels and birds are active throughout the day. They generally leave in the morning, return occasionally throughout the day and return for the evening. Have a look outside your home (look at the roof and soffit areas) early in the morning and again at dusk and try to spot the entry areas.
Insects can occasionally make enough noise in a home to be noticed. A large wasp or hornet nest in a wall or ceiling space will make enough noise to be heard inside when it’s quiet during the day. Established carpenter ant nests also make enough noise to be heard during the day but especially at night (as they are more active at night). The noise is often described as crackling or like crinkling paper.
No. Carpenter ants excavate galleries in the wood for their nests but they do not eat wood. However, they are a serious structural pest that must be dealt with properly as they damage and weaken structures.
Termites eat wood. The Western Subterranean Termite is prevalent in Greater Victoria. These termites consume wood, build mud tubes connecting their food and nesting areas and are considered a very serious structural pest. Pacific Dampwood termites are very common throughout the West Coast but only damage wet or decaying wood. They usually occur outside and are typically not a serious structural pest.
Maybe. Winged ants are the reproductive phase in all ant species, not just carpenter ants. The presence of winged ants indicates that colonies are mature and attempting to expand. Mating flights of these winged ants (called swarms) usually do not result in the establishment of successful new colonies. Most winged ants die within hours of leaving their nest. If you see “big black winged ants” on the West Coast, they are likely carpenter ants. Camponotus modoc is the largest and most prevalent carpenter ant species in Metro Vancouver and on Vancouver Island. The winged female of this species is the largest winged ant we encounter. However, size and color are not definitive. There are 10 different species of carpenter ants and many others here on the West Coast. Carpenter ants are polymorphic (they have 3 sizes of workers and 2 sizes of reproductives), they are a variety of colors and can often resemble many other ant species.
Plugging the entry hole will not solve the problem. The wasps will try to find another way out, which may be into your living space.
If the hole is on the outside of your structure, and it is safe to do so, unplug it. If it is unsafe to unplug or you are not comfortable doing this, wait for our technician to arrive. If the hole is on the inside and was plugged to keep wasps from coming in your living space, DO NOT unplug this. Some nests will break through interior walls or ceilings as they enlarge late in the season (usually late August/September). This can be dangerous. Close off the room and call us immediately.
We practice Integrated Pest Management and for many services, no special precautions are required on your part. Our technicians follow appropriate safety precautions as legislated by the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), the Ministry of Environment (MOE) and Workers Compensation Board (WCB).
When vacating your home is necessary, we require vacating times longer than Health Canada recommends, adding an extra margin of safety. When pesticides are required, we use the least toxic materials and application methods that will be effective against your specific target pest.
At Earth Easy Pest Control excellent customer service is the cornerstone of our business. Please use the for below to contact us and a representative will respond promptly.
Earth Easy Pest Control
1490 Crescent Street. NE
Grand Rapids, Mi. 49505